Friday, 4 July 2008
LOTS OF COMPETITION NEWS!
First, the not surprising news that the winner of The Frank O'Connor International short story prize has been declared early. I am not surprised, as I've just read it for review. Many congratulations indeed to Jhumpa Lahiri. (golly that feels very very daft... a minnow waving its tail at a whale).
The judging panel decided that Unaccustomed Earth, which had already soared to the top of the ratings in the US, was so far above the other contenders that there was no point making shortlisted writers sweat it out.
We knew there were no Salt Publishing books in the running, but two of the Salt team (Carys Davies and I) have been invited over to the Frank O'Connor Festival for the whole three days, to read. A generous gesture from the organisers, and a much appreciated little 'consolation prize'.
But I am sad that there isn't a shortlist. No - not because Glass Bubble would have been on it... there were so many extraordinarily strong writers, and those were just the books I knew myself. But because it is hard enough for short stories to make an impression in today's world, and the little line 'shortlisted for the FOC' might have done wonders for some superb collections. I read all the Salt entries, and several others on the longlist including Ann Enright's and Clare Wigfall's. As both a writer and a reader. And I know how good they are.
In a strange synchronicity, one of the other Frank O'Connor longisted writers was announced yesterday as one of the five contenders for The National Short Story Prize. For a single story, The Numbers.... a possible £15,000.
The Loudest Sound and Nothing is a terrific collection.
Sending you loads of good luck, Clare!
Clare Wigfall interviewed HERE
The Loudest Sound and Nothing reviewed on The Short Story website, HERE
many many congratulations to all the finalists:
Richard Beard Guidelines for Measures to Cope with Disgraceful and Other Events
Jane Gardam The People on Privilege Hill
Erin Soros Surge
Adam Thorpe The Names
Clare Wigfall The Numbers